Magic Carpentry Ride 8/28/2020
More than 90 percent of every Viking is built in-house, so each shipwright in the multiple stages of the build process carries out an integral job. The result is a turnkey-ready, industry-leading yacht.

A dramatic transformation takes place in the Carpentry Department, which includes a total of 58 carpenters, installers and general shipwrights. “It’s like night and day,” says Chris Abbott, Foreman of Finish Carpentry. “The boat comes to us as a hull, but leaves looking very much like a yacht, with all of its major pieces in place. It’s pretty amazing.”

The hull and its structural framework (a stringer-and-bulkhead grid resembling an egg crate) are built in our Fiberglass Department, also called Viglass. Besides the fuel, water and holding tanks, the hull is relatively empty when it moves from Viglass into the mechanical, electrical and carpentry phases.

Carpentry is responsible for assembling and installing the interior components – all of the parts and units needed to create the staterooms, crew quarters, heads, salons, galleys, pantries, enclosed bridges and other areas. The department is also charged with transporting the units into the boat and prepping the various installation areas.

In Rough Carpentry, the layout of the interior begins to take shape. First, the floors are secured in place by tabbing them to the hull with fiberglass and resin. Meanwhile, outside of the boat in Rough Carpentry Assembly, a designated team puts together the larger living configurations for the staterooms, heads, pantries, staircases and companionways. Rough Carpentry shipwrights then use overhead electric hoists to “fly” these structures into the boat and secure them. They also transport into the boat the major pieces of furniture for the lower deck (bunks, hanging lockers and credenzas) and main deck accommodations like entertainment centers, lower galley cabinetry and day heads.

“Rough Carpentry is handling all of the units that are too large to be brought into the boat after the deckhouse is installed,” says Carpentry Supervisor Dave Deverter, a 36-year Viking veteran. Rough Carpentry installers are also responsible for flying and securing the deckhouse, the cockpit liner and the coaming (with its integral transom box) to the hull. Experienced shipwrights like Berildo Meza, who has been building a better boat every day for 21 years, secure the coaming and deckhouse to the hull using adhesive and mechanical through-bolts every three inches. They also fiberglass the joint from the inside. “Preparing the hull and the parts to be installed is very important,” says Berildo. “You must have patience and get things right the first time.”

With the large interior components in place, the boat moves forward to Finish Carpentry. Carpenters build the framework for the interior headliners and hull sealers throughout the boat, along with soffits, light blocks and hatch and speaker rings among other things. Cabinets and shelves are installed; doors are hung; tray ceilings go up; and mirrored ceilings, shower doors, baseboards, dinette units and appliances are set into place. Other work includes installing subflooring that will accept the carpeting and custom flooring. Carpentry also installs all of the molding for bunks and shelves.

At Viking Mullica, where the Valhalla Boatworks V Series center consoles are built, the Rough Carpentry team installs the fish boxes, deck liner, deck ring, anchor locker (with shelf and tube) and various hardware pieces such as rod holders, hawse pipes and fuel fills.

Coordination and communication with Viking’s other departments is crucial, with Carpentry shipwrights oftentimes working in unison with Rough Mechanical and Rough Electrical technicians and installers. For example, Carpentry will only install the headliners after Rough Electrical has run all the wires throughout the boat for various systems, lights and appliances.

When viewed from the catwalks between the manufacturing lines, the workflow in Carpentry is an exercise in focus and organization. “Each shipwright knows exactly what needs to be done,” says Dave. “It may seem overwhelming to an outsider, but we have such a great amount of collective experience it’s like a well-oiled machine.”

While the yachts are close to completion as they leave Carpentry, there’s still a great amount of work to be done. Before the boats head to the Make Ready Dock, they go through the Finish Electrical, Plumbing and Exterior and Interior Trim stages.
 
 
     
     
     
     
     
   
     
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